Monday, December 13, 2010

The Value of CrossFit

By Diana Hsieh

Last Friday, Paul and I headed to Breckenridge for some fun in the snow. I've not skiied in nearly three years -- first due to my dissertation, then due to my hypothyroidism. In addition to re-learning the skills I'd forgotten, I was curious to see how my six months of CrossFit training at CIA FIT Gym prepared me for a few hard days of skiing. My workout routine is one to two hour-long classes at the gym per week, plus some form of lighter exercise (such as one or two miles of rowing or running, or an hour of horseback riding) on most other days.

So, the question is: How would that translate on the slopes? Would CrossFit prepare my body for the exertion of hours and hours of skiing?

As for my long ski weekend, here's what I did:

  • Saturday: Five hours of skiing at Breckenridge
  • Sunday: Two hours of snowshoeing in Frisco
  • Monday: Five hours of skiing at Keystone
  • Tuesday: Five hours of skiing at Breckenridge
Oh, and that last day at Breckenridge was in six glorious inches of fresh, light powder. (Yes, you should be jealous!)

Basically, I skied fifteen solid hours over four days. On my ski days, I took two or three fifteen minute breaks each day, but I've subtracted those from my total time. During those breaks, I chowed down on turkey or ham, hard-boiled eggs, cheese, sweet potato chips (roasted, then dehydrated), and macadamia nuts. Much to my amazement, I was not seriously sore after any of these ski days. Sure, I felt some twinges in my calves and quads, but nothing that could be called pain.

I returned to Denver on Tuesday evening. On Thursday evening, I went to the gym for a grueling hour-long CrossFit session involving deadlifts, kettlebell swings, burpees, wall balls, and more. And wow, I'm seriously, seriously sore.

That makes me happy though! Those painful workouts enable me to jump on the skis for fifteen hours in four days after a three year break without any problem. And that's darn awesome.

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